The Storms This Winter
The storms this winter make me afraid
Like I have never feared before.
It seems to be too much for me.
I have grown suddenly old.
Trudging across the tundra
that was my summer grass and my warm sunshine,
destroyed and determined to freeze me to death.
Control of car and control of feet and balance.
These are the questions that poke at me.
My fingers aching inside my gloves from the cold.
My nose hurting after a minute outside.
Wondering seriously if my circulation decline
Is going to net me actual frostbite, something
I thought was just for a Jack London short story.
I only see cars out, frosted exhaust plumes rising,
no people walking.
And one mad woman jogger at 6:25am on a morning
With -30 degrees Celsius to convince her lungs that fire
Was a relative state of sensation,
that black clothing with no reflector tape
Was the perfect chance to end it all
and get run over by an old man
Blinking through his mostly defrosted
attempt at a windshield.
Very late in life to become a killer, so he manages to slide past without
Then I see the night nurses walking fast to their cars.
At the hospital parking lot
When I arrive for dialysis
Having outpaced the snow ploughs
a couple of mornings per week.
Winter rolls slowly forward
like the trunk of a snowman
Accumulating weight and momentum,
thickening like slush turning
To frozen worry. The smallest attempts
become a full day’s load of effort.